Not all knives are made equal and some are way more important to any budding chef than others. Even if you are a casual cook who doesn’t break the knives out as often as they would like, it is still better to have the best knives available. Some are more versatile than others and you can get away with having a few of the more important products at your disposal. Here we take a look at some of the different types of kitchen knives and rank them on their importance. By the end of it, you’ll know which ones you are missing and the ones you don’t need so much.
There’s no better place to start than with a quality chef’s knife. Anything between 8 to 10 inches is going to give you plenty of options and can be used for just about everything in the kitchen. Whether it is dicing vegetables, slicing fruit into segments, or cutting meat into size. The added length makes it more efficient and ensures it does all the hard work for you, making it less likely that you will need to go back in for another slice.
We’re a big fan of a utility knife and just as it sounds, it offers multiple uses and is convenient. The smaller blade makes it easier to handle than a chef’s knife and perfect for cutting smaller vegetables or more accurate practices such as cutting herbs. You’re not going to be able to cut bread into slices with of these but the best utility knives are solidly built, have tonnes of use, and are ideal for any kitchen. Look for a product made from Damascus steel or high carbon steel to give you an edge that stays sharp for longer with increased strength.
Another staple in the kitchen drawer of many chefs, pro or enthusiast, a paring knife is excellent for the finer details. The likes of a chef’s knife or utility knife might be too much for some tasks such as peeling fruit and vegetables, or de-seeding and de-shelling. Because the blade is only around 3.5 inches long on average, it is easier to control making it important to have one at your disposal. One of the other benefits is that even quality paring knives can be picked up for a reasonable price.
Anyone who has tried to cut through bread will know how difficult it is to make accurate slices without a serrated blade. The teeth are to be worked in a saw-like motion to get through waxy foods as well. This is why a lot of people use them on the likes of pineapples, tomatoes, peppers, citrus fruits, and others. When using them on these foods, be sure to carefully wipe the blade as they can damage the quality. The downside to a serrated knife is that they are not as easy to sharpen although many consider them a kitchen essential for good reason.
To make accurate, thin cuts, a chef’s knife won’t work in the same way that carving knife will. Sometimes known as a slicing knife, both describe its use pretty well. They require a saw-like motion to do so and the technique can take some getting used to before you are an expert at slicing the meat at Christmas or another gathering.
These might not be as essential as the previous because they do not have so many uses but if you have a specific need, these blades make great additions to your kitchen drawer.
It doesn’t matter. if you like your steak rare or well done, these are an important steak knife to have if you enjoy a regular steak night. They are usually available in sets of 4 or 6 and are ideal for hosting so be sure to pick up a quality set. You can find them in serrated and non-serrated form and look for the better materials and comfortable handles.
Another specialist knife this one is ideal for preparing and cutting meat. Known for having one of the sharpest blades in the business, a santoku knife is commonly used in Japanese cuisine and ideal for mincing, dicing, and slicing. The flat blade keeps the surface still and makes for a comfortable alternative to a chef’s knife, we should also mention that they look great.
As imposing as a knife can get, these are certainly a specialist knife. The strong blade allows the user to get through bones and tougher foods easier, the added weight behind it helps as well. Although it is synonymous with cutting meat and crushing garlic, a cleaver can also be used to get through the likes of squash easier.
Similar to a boning knife, this is actually made for slicing thin strips of meat and has a more flexible feel to its thinner blade. It is important for sushi prep but it can be a little niche otherwise.
Be Sure To Buy A Honing Steel
Also make sure you don’t call this a sharpener, although it is close to what it does. When you purchase a quality knife or set of knives, they can still lose their sharpness over time, especially when you make good use of them. This is why it is good to be able to make clean cuts every time and have honing steel to hand. It won’t actually sharpen the blades in the same way a professional will which is why it is recommended that you send yours to a pro once a year.
The Most Important Knives In A Kitchen
The above all earn their place in a kitchen although some are more important than others. Still, it very much depends on personal preference as some will be less useful if you do not cook certain foods. You can’t go wrong with a chef knife, paring knife, and utility knife to get started. However, a lot of people will consider a santoku knife to be better and easier to handle than a chef’s knife and prefer to use them.
This is why it is best to be versatile knives that fit different purposes although having different blade lengths and thicknesses is always good as you never know what that new recipe is going to throw at you.